Butter and Buttercups

Each year in early spring the rural counties in Virginia are blanketed with sunny yellow buttercups, and each year I vow to get outside and paint them in the field. More often than not though, I miss their brief appearance for one reason or another. It’s a busy time at my daughter’s school, or I am preparing for a show, or moving, etc., etc., etc.) This year I got lucky, thanks to the sweet tip I received from my husband, who spotted this location on his morning drive to work. 

"Butter and Buttercups", Oil on linen, 9x12" ©Jennifer E Young

"Butter and Buttercups", Oil on linen, 9x12" ©Jennifer E Young

This dairy farm is about 20 minutes from my home in Ashland, out in rural Hanover County just past historic Hanover Tavern. I started out painting the barn and fields, cowless, with a plan of perhaps adding the cows later from photos I took on site. Just toward the end of my session though, the cows obliged, and ambeled over long enough for me to paint a suggestion of their general shape and position. I decided to leave them as I painted them in the field, as I felt the handling was consistent with the rest of the painting.

A W.I.P in the midst of a blizzard!

Here on the east coast we have been experiencing a significant snow storm.  We've been pretty much home bound this weekend, only venturing out into the back yard to get blasted with wind and snow right in the kisser. It's been far too windy outside to try and paint Plein Air, so I have attempted a couple of "Plein Kitchens" instead. I'm still noodling with those, but if they happen to turn out I will post them here on the blog. Once the wind dies down and the sun comes out (as it's supposed to tomorrow) I intend to will venture out and brave the cold to paint the winter wonderland. Here's what I was working on Friday, though, before my van got buried under a giant snow drift:

WIP (title TBD) Oil on linen, 24x30" ©Jennifer E Young

WIP (title TBD) Oil on linen, 24x30" ©Jennifer E Young

I still have quite a bit of work to do on it but I have been enjoying the way it has unfolded so far. This is another piece inspired by my trip in the fall to Floyd, VA for the Plein Air Crush event. It was pretty crazy weather there too much of the time, with lots of threatening rain clouds and wind (oh the wind!) But here and there I saw breaks, and whenever I did I tried to take lots of reference photos of this beautiful area. I'm not sure how soon I can dig myself out of the house and make it back over to the studio, but I will post an update when I do.